“Where can I bring my child to other than the water play areas or Indoor playgrounds?”
“What can I do with my child so that they can be meaningfully engaged?”
These are common questions I would often hear from parents whenever the weekend is here. Here is a list of venues you can bring your children to be meaningfully engaged and to have a day of outdoor fun with you.
If your kids are animal lovers, The Animal Resort is a must-have visit for them this school hols. This privately-run venture allows kids to enjoy interacting with animals in a rural, kampong-like setting, a sight you don’t often see in modern, cosmopolitan Singapore! The Animal Resort seeks to provide a boarding service for pets, somewhat like an animal version of a hostel. However, members of the public are free to explore the grounds and interact with the many animals there. For a token fee, you can also purchase feed for the animals.
What’s fun: There are guinea pigs, rabbits, cranes, chickens, peacocks, horses, and even a fish pond to admire! What’s unique about this place is that, unlike its counterparts like the Singapore Zoological Gardens or the Bird Park, The Animal Resort provides a more rustic and rural experience for visitors, and for the children of this generation, it’s definitely not something they see most of the time. While many of the animals are still enclosed or caged, Many of the birds do wander around on the grounds, and are sure to give your children a thrill!
Location: T81, Seletar West Farmway 5 Singapore 798061
Nearest MRT: Sengkang (NEL), Yio Chu Kang (NSL)
Bus 86, 103 (off Jalan Kayu)
Landmark: Ju Eng Home along Seletar West Farmway 4.
Opening hours: 10am to 6pm daily (closed on public holidays)
The Animal Resort is made up of the following sectors:
- Boarding (kenneling)
- Dog Training
- Educational Tours
- Event Venue
Note: Animal Feeds are for sale to feed their residents. No outside food is allowed.
Every Saturday, many of Singapore’s fire stations open up for tours for the public. Child(ren) are invited to explore a fire truck, try out their equipment such as spraying special water guns, and wearing of their kids-sized uniforms and hats, and learn how firemen slide down the fire pole! It will also be a super exciting experience for the little ones to meet the uniformed men – firemen and understand more about that these heros do for our community.
The tour of the fire station generally takes about an hour – perfect for an after-breakfast weekend adventure. Walk-ins are welcome. However, they did mentioned on their website that for those who are keen to go together in a group of 10 or more, they are required to make a booking 2 weeks in advance to avoid overcrowding at the fire stations.
Best of all, there is no admission fee is required for the fire station open house! What are you waiting for?
Central Fire Station
62 Hill Street
Photo credit: Mr Lim Chin Leng and family
3. Interesting Libraries in Singapore
My Tree House, Central Library
National Library Board
100 Victoria Street Singapore 188064
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun 10.00am – 9.00pm
My Tree House is a “green” library for children to learn all about caring for the environment. Other than the collection of 45,000 books within the Tree house, with 30 per cent focusing on green topics, children can learn about the environment through a multi-sensory experience during their visit. Green building materials were used extensively in the construction of the library, including the energy-efficient LED lighting, the cardboard armchairs, refurbished bookshelves and carpets! Spaces have been thoughtfully carved out in the library – into different reading and activity areas for children of various ages, not just for the older ones who are able to read.
On top of that, there are also meaningfully activities such as the wall-to-wall screen with moving cartoon characters (without sound), and questions popping out on the walls from time to time, testing children on their ‘green’ knowledge and they can answer them by touching the correct answer on the screen! Other activities include story-telling sessions, reading programmes, and art and craft workshops.
Review and photo credits to Ms June Yong, an avid local mom blogger and writer who walks alongside Focus on the Family in their mission to help families in Singapore thrive: www.mamawearpapashirt.com
Library @ Chinatown
Location: 133 New Bridge Road #04-12 Chinatown Point Singapore 059413
Mon – Sun: 11.00am – 9.00pm
Closed at 5.00pm on eves of Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year
Closed on Public Holidays
The Library @ Chinatown offers a wide collection to arts and cultural enthusiasts as well as to the general public who are keen in learning more about our Chinese culture and arts. The library has articles and exhibits displayed to allow one to read about Chinatown during the olden days. There are also some fun stamping activities of familiar icons of Singapore like Singa the lion, Singapore Changi Airport & the Dragon playground etc. In addition, there is also a brightly lit Children’s section for the children to find their favourite books and corner to read on their own.
Review and photo credit: Ms Serene Seah, an avid local mom blogger and writer: http://xavvy-licious.blogspot.sg
By Yvonne Chee & Dorothea Chow
This article was first published in The New Age Parents Feb / Mar 2014 e-magazine